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Project Image & Ethereal Jaunt: Legal?


Rules Questions

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18 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a debate on anothere thread about whether it is legal for a wizard to cast project image and then cast ethereal jaunt to place oneself on the ethereal plane without breaking the link to the projected image.

The important line in project image is this one:
You must maintain line of effect to the projected image at all times. If your line of effect is obstructed, the spell ends. If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends.

Now the argument that ethereal jaunt is legal stems from the fact it is not a transportation spell but a transformation spell. Most importantly:
An ethereal creature can see and hear on the Material Plane, but everything looks gray and ephemeral. Sight and hearing onto the Material Plane are limited to 60 feet.

Now here is the argument: Does becoming ethereal and the resulting alteration in your senses disrupt the link to the projected image, or not? There are those that argue this is legal, and a wizard can use project image and then become ethereal and still attack material foes through the projected image. There are others that say that clearly, although project image is not specifically mentioned, it breaks RAI and RAW in that you are shifting to another plane, and that the momentary shift in senses is indeed that mentioned that should disrupt the project image spell.


I just hit the FAQ button after looking at it from several different ways. What it boils down to is whether or not the Etherial plane overlapping with the material plane actually keeps you on both planes at once. I have no answer.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
I just hit the FAQ button after looking at it from several different ways. What it boils down to is whether or not the Etherial plane overlapping with the material plane actually keeps you on both planes at once. I have no answer.

Or alternatively, do you fleetingly lose sight of the projected image while your senses adjust to the ethereal plane? Is so, the project image breaks.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I just hit the FAQ button after looking at it from several different ways. What it boils down to is whether or not the Etherial plane overlapping with the material plane actually keeps you on both planes at once. I have no answer.
Or alternatively, do you fleetingly lose sight of the projected image while your senses adjust to the ethereal plane? Is so, the project image breaks.

Line of sight is not a guarantee for line of effect. Wall of Force is one instance that comes into mind. Doorways into Mansion Spells are another.


Line of effect does not cross between plains. Even though the ethereal and material planes are close enough that creatures on the ethereal plane can see into the material plane dimly, it does not change this fact. There is a special exception about force effects, so if project image were somehow a force effect, then line of effect would not be broken.


Dabbler wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I just hit the FAQ button after looking at it from several different ways. What it boils down to is whether or not the Etherial plane overlapping with the material plane actually keeps you on both planes at once. I have no answer.
Or alternatively, do you fleetingly lose sight of the projected image while your senses adjust to the ethereal plane? Is so, the project image breaks.

IF they overlap* then the question is fluff question to describe a mechanic. If you are completely off the material plane, but still subject to effects from other planes due to the strange/unique qualities they ethereal plan possesses then the combination would not work since line of effect would be broken.

*By overlap I mean make it possible to be on both planes at once.

RAI I would lean towards no, but the tactic can still be handled.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I never debated that the tactic can be handled, it surely can. The question being posed is, is it legal by the rules as they stand? I agree, I would tend to say that no, it isn't, but I also admit the possibility that it might be due to the special nature of the ethereal plane. If Mabven is correct, and line of effect does not extend between planes under any circumstances but concerning force effects, it's not.


If you want to know whether line of effect crosses between the plains, take a look at the spell Blink. When you are under the effect of Blink, and you cast a spell, there is a 20% chance that the spell simply will not hit its target on the material plain. This 20% chance for the spell to fail is directly caused by a breaking of line of effect, when the caster is randomly transported between the planes. If there were no breaking of line of effect, why would the spell fail to target its intended target? The spell is not failing to be cast, it is simply unable to acquire its target. Targeting a spell is entirely about line of effect, and when the blinking caster goes to the ethereal plane, it is being broken. There is no other logical reason.


I think Mabven is right on this one.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think she is.


Thats not actually true the 20% chance is for casting a spell is to see if the spell affects the material or the ethereal plane. The spell still goes off as normal and can affect creatures upon the ethereal plane if any exist.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
vebulus wrote:
Thats not actually true the 20% chance is for casting a spell is to see if the spell affects the material or the ethereal plane. The spell still goes off as normal and can affect creatures upon the ethereal plane if any exist.

The point, though, is that being on the ethereal plane and attempting to target something on the material plane does not work. There is no line of effect between the two planes, which is what we are trying to establish.


PRD-Magic:Line of Effect wrote:

A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect.

Ethereal Jaunt does not break line of effect. Period. You can cast spells at material creatures while ethereal, but they won't affect them. Toss a fireball and they won't burn. Try to turn them into a toad and it fails. There are certain spells that continue to affect creatures normally, which require line of effect to cast.

So there's your rule quote right there. If you got something that says ethereal jaunt or being ethereal in any way breaks line of effect, go ahead and let me know, 'cause last I checked, there is nothing that does.

EDIT: Going a step further, abjuration spells still affect creatures that are ethereal. If being ethereal blocked line of effect, they wouldn't have a line of effect to function. Not once, ever, that I can find in the rules does it say being ethereal blocks line of effect; but only that it makes you immune to certain types of spells and attacks (most of them, actually).

Again, please cite where it says being ethereal breaks line of effect; because it quite clearly does not; based on the rules I'm reading on the PRD.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Ethereal Jaunt does not break line of effect. Period.
CRB page 440 wrote:
Except for rare linking points that allow travel between them, each plane is effectively its own universe with its own natural laws.

Last time I checked, being in another universe sure busts the hell out of line of effect.

If they didn't, spells on the Astral plane and the Plane of Shadow, also contingent with the material plane, should also affect the material plane equally - but we are all agreed that they do not. Plus, the description of project image specifically states shifting to another plane DOES break line of effect. It doesn't mention ethereal jaunt specifically, but it does mention plane shift. Applying your logic, using plane shift to transport yourself to the ethereal plane should not break line of effect, but there is no clause saying this - only the blanket statement that it DOES break line of effect.

Ashiel wrote:
You can cast spells at material creatures while ethereal, but they won't affect them.

Thus, by definition, there is no line of effect.

Ashiel wrote:
Toss a fireball and they won't burn.

Because the spells line of effect cannot cross the planar boundary.

Ashiel wrote:
Try to turn them into a toad and it fails.

Agreed - there is no line of effect to the target, it's in another universe.

Ashiel wrote:
There are certain spells that continue to affect creatures normally, which require line of effect to cast.

There are spells that you can cast in one plane that have an effect on another, yes. These spells do explain how they do so clearly in their description. The line of effect is only required to the spell effect on the plane in which they are cast, it is not required to the point on the plane to which they connect.

Ashiel wrote:
So there's your rule quote right there.

The one that nowhere states that line of effect between planes is possible? That doesn't help your cause one jot. On top of that you have cited many cases where line of effect on the ethereal does NOT extend to the material, reinforcing my case that line of effect to the material plane is broken by travelling to the ethereal considerably.

Ashiel wrote:
If you got something that says ethereal jaunt or being ethereal in any way breaks line of effect, go ahead and let me know, 'cause last I checked, there is nothing that does.

Last time I checked, there was no clause saying it was any exception to the general rule that says if you are on another plane, you cannot affect a different plane unless clearly stated in the spell description, either. General rule is just that without an exception clause, which we both know you don't have.

Ashiel wrote:
EDIT: Going a step further, abjuration spells still affect creatures that are ethereal.

Ethereal jaunt is not an abjuration spell. Nor is it a force spell. Spells of these kinds have specific clauses that state that they DO effect the material and ethereal planes equally, when this is the case. Ethereal jaunt does not contain any kind of clause that you can continue to maintain line of effect to the material, and project image even specifically states that travelling to another plane breaks it.

Ashiel wrote:
If being ethereal blocked line of effect, they wouldn't have a line of effect to function.

Except of course they clearly state where they DO effect the ethereal, and where they don't. You yourself have cited many spells that do not have line of effect from the ethereal to the material plane. None of them SAY that they don't effect the material from the ethereal, it's taken for granted that they do not, and mentioned only when they do.

Ashiel wrote:
Not once, ever, that I can find in the rules does it say being ethereal blocks line of effect; but only that it makes you immune to certain types of spells and attacks (most of them, actually).

We have both cited many examples demonstrating that it does, and you have produced no clause saying that it doesn't in any case save where the spell in question actually says so.

Like I said, by your logic, plane shift to the ethereal plane should not break line of effect (according to you) and yet the description of the project image spell does not say that you can do so - it just says a blanket statement, that plane shift breaks line of effect. Therefore line of effect is broken by travelling to ANY plane, including the ethereal.


Dabbler wrote:
Like I said, by your logic, plane shift to the ethereal plane should not break line of effect (according to you) and yet the description of the project image spell does not say that you can do so - it just says a blanket statement, that plane shift breaks line of effect. Therefore line of effect is broken by travelling to ANY plane, including the ethereal.

Quite the contrary. The spell specifically notes that the mere act of casting plane shift breaks line of effect, but you're ignoring a critical thing here. All the spells it lists as breaking the line of effect as part of the spell's effect are all "(Teleportation)" spells. Teleport and Plane Shift are both Conjuration (Teleportation) spells. Now teleport and greater teleport are both on the same plane of existence. In fact, you can teleport 5 ft. away from your position, and it breaks the protected image. Even if you travel only 5ft. away on the same plane, or teleport to your current location (such as with greater teleport placing back in your original location on a complete failure), will break the image.

Now in school, we learn to tell the differences between things. The "one of these things is not like the other" requires only elementary level of theoretical reasoning. Projected image is pretty clear in this regard. It says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends.", so we've got that.

While ethereal, you still experience the "real world", though as an insubstantial ghost. Being ethereal is as condition that a creature or thing is. Ethereal jaunt is a Transmutation spell. It does not make you travel somewhere. "You become ethereal, along with your equipment." indicates a transmutation that has occurred here. You are no longer physical, you are ethereal. While the spell goes on, you are in the ethereal plane.

It goes on to say "An ethereal creature is invisible, insubstantial, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down, albeit at half normal speed. As an insubstantial creature, you can move through solid objects, including living creatures. An ethereal creature can see and hear on the Material Plane, but everything looks gray and ephemeral. Sight and hearing onto the Material Plane are limited to 60 feet."

So again, it is referring to a state of being, and how that changes its interactions with the world around it - the material world. However, it notes that spells you cast on material creatures have no no effect. You can still cast them on them. You couldn't even target them if you lacked line of effect. Even the metamagic feat that allows spells to affect material/ethereal equally doesn't change your conditions of line of effect.

Line of effect is not a condition as to whether or not something will be affected by a spell, but whether you can cast the spell there at all, or if the spell's effects will be blocked by an interposing barrier (such as a fireball being blocked by a wall). Line of effect is quite clear. In functions as line of sight for ranged weapons, except it doesn't require you to be able to see your target. It must be a solid barrier between you and your target.

There is in fact nothing stopping you from targeting a material creature with say scorching ray, but the rays will have no effect on them. Line of effect prevents you from casting spells into a space blocked by a solid barrier. You're not even allowed to try and target the something behind a 5ft. wall, for example, because there is a solid barrier blocking line of effect.

The spell is neither alike the other spells (all conjuration(teleportation) spells) nor does it prevent you from casting spells at material creatures and things (but it does prevent those effects from affecting them). It does not, by the rules of Line of Effect (see magic chapter), break line of effect because it is not a "solid barrier" blocking the path. The ethereal plane is so closely tied with the material plane that you don't even need a traveling spell to become ethereal, you just transmute yourself into an ethereal creature. You can continue to interact (albeit in a more limited fashion) with material things and vice versa; a trait that is not shared by any other plane I can think of (not even the astral or shadow transitive planes).

So yeah. Transmutation and the Line of Effect rules say that you can.

The Exchange

i would take line of effect to mean this. could i shoot it with another spell. can i effect that target. if i am in the ethereal plane can i cast another spell (without the use of the image) to effect the area. if i cant ray of frost it i would guess its not within line of effect.
and to the post above mine by ashiel i will also point out that shadow walk is an illusion spell that still acts like teleportation. the mere fact that it is not a conjuration spell has no basis in argument here.
further more the argument that you become ethereal instead of traveling to the ethereal plane is pure fluff reading

You become ethereal, along with your equipment. For the duration of the spell, you are in the Ethereal Plane, which overlaps the Material Plane. When the spell expires, you return to material existence.

you become ethereal and exist on the ethereal plane.

An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things. Certain material creatures or objects have attacks or effects that work on the Ethereal Plane.

so your telling me i cant effect anything on the material plane???

and im sorry but your interpretation of i can target someone with a spell it just cant hit them is wrong based on the last line of the above paragraph. you can only cast spells on ethereal targets and the before further clarifies that you cannot attack material creatures.

this is another case of reading a spell seeing what it does then finding a loophole. there are many spells that transport you without being conjuration. the spell line stating you must maintain sight and line of effect gives specific examples that further limit you. they do not however say that only these spells break your link. i do not think it was the intention of the op to find a loophole but to solve a real question. im sure that when this goes to faq it will be erratad or explained. the material plane and the ethereal planes are seperate planes creatures can live on both and never meet. it just so happens that these two allow you to look into one another.
i will leave with one more post a paste from the srd about planes.

What is a Plane?

The planes of existence are different realities with interwoven connections. Except for rare linking points, each plane is effectively its own universe, with its own natural laws. The planes break down into a number of general types: the Material Plane, the transitive planes, the Inner Planes, the Outer Planes, and the demiplanes.
again id like to see you fireball a different universe have a good day all.

The Exchange

just one more thing.. you know all those great spells that make you keep proximity to function like telepathic bond.. those break if someone goes to another plane and the rest of you stay there.
by the reasoning of ashiel seeing is enough even though you cannot interact with it.. so maybe if you could simply scry the spot you wish to place your image then cast the image in the designated spot, then while looking at the scrying pool you jump into a wagon and ride away your still fine. after all you could even cast other spells that affect that area. i.e. scrying again without ever loosing track of your image. planes are further away from each other than one countries border to the next countries furthest border. consider distance if you need to


A solid barrier, even one you can see through, blocks line of effect. A glass pane prevents you from casting charm person on someone, even though there is no apparent projectile or similar.

Can you cast a fireball from the material to the water plane? No, but then you cannot interact with the water plane either. The ethereal plane and the material plane are atop one another, and interact with one another. There is no barrier between them. Spells can target ethereal creatures from the material plane and vice versa (though the latter requires a feat). That means there is line of effect. You can cast a targeted dispel magic on an ethereal being, but you still need line of effect. An ethereal creature hiding behind a wall still cannot be targeted by the dispel magic.

You still need LoE for dispel magic to target them. If you have LoE for dispel magic, then you have line of effect for other spells. There is nothing that says that you lose line of effect, only that you cannot affect. There is a difference. Without line of effect, you couldn't cast at them at all; but you can. Because losing line of effect would mean that the metamagic that lets your spells affect material/ethereal creatures would be useless, because it doesn't say it grants line of effect. Why? Because it doesn't have to say that. Line of effect is a strait line that can be drawn on the map that isn't blocked by a solid barrier. I've quoted this a few times now.


From the old thread:

Kyoni wrote:
GMG, pg 191 wrote:

Normal Magic: Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane.

The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings; these can cross from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells. While it’s possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn’t possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.

If you rule that there is no line of effect between the material plane and the ethereal plane, I'd expect your spellcaster to find a way to target a creature on the ethereal plane. Because while the spell might affect a creature, it does not allow your spellcaster to target said creature.

Imho, if you need to detect your foe to target it with force-based spells that would mean, you also need to do this with dispel magic (targeted), even though it is an abjuration.
And since divination spells are not cited, this brings me to "True Seeing":

CRB wrote:
You confer on the subject the ability to see all things as they actually are. The subject sees through normal and magical darkness, notices secret doors hidden by magic, sees the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, sees invisible creatures or objects normally, sees through illusions, and sees the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things. Further, the subject can focus its vision to see into the Ethereal Plane (but not into extradimensional spaces).
How can you just focus you vision to another dimension/universe (ie the ethereal plane) but not to extradimensional spaces (ie other "universes", as Dabbler put it)... with a spell that isn't "force" or "abjuration"?
Godwyn wrote:


Right here, to most extents.
Matthew Morris wrote:

GMG, pg 191 wrote:

Normal Magic: Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane.
The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings; these can cross from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells. While it’s possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn’t possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.
(Emphasis mine)

Ashiel is not trying to attack from the ethereal to the material... she is trying to keep line of effect for Project Image.

What she does with her Projected Image (and whether that works) is a different subject.

If somebody with true seeing can shift his vision/focus into the ethereal plane and all ethereal beings can see into the material plane by default, the rule about not being able to attack from the ethereal plane into the material plane should not apply to project image as that spell is not an attack.

Again... it's about targeting vs affecting:

1.
you might be able to target (ie line of effect) a creature but be blocked by an effect preventing the spell from affecting your target (immunity)

2.
you might be unable to target a creature but be potentially allowed to affect your target with your spell (because it's force/abjuration)

Blink:
- you use up a spell slot when casting with a failure chance for affecting it, thus you have line of effect but do not affect the target.
- you don't have line of sight and are prevented to cast the spell in the first place, thus don't use up that spell slot.
Which one is it, can't have it both ways (no line of effect but still use up the spell slot)?

Dispel Magic:
- can this spell be use in it's "targeted" way when wanting to dispel something ethereal? because the targeted version clearly requires line of effect and I cannot find any spell or ability that clearly gives/allows you line of effect?

If you say true seeing, well it allows you to see it, but this still leaves us with the glass wall problem: seeing somebody does not specifically grant line of effect, right?
Thus noone can gain line of effect between the material plane and the ethereal plane (unless I missed a rule somewhere).
Logically this means you need to plane shift to the same plane to target somebody, thus making those "exceptions" (ie force attacks) for affecting different plane pointless.

How can true seeing be specifically allowed to detect ethereal creatures if it's specifically forbidden to look into other planes...
obviously something makes the two overlapping planes (shadow and ethereal) different from all the other planes out there?


Okay, simple question. Can an ethereal spellcaster use cure light wounds on a subject in the material plane? According to Ashiel line of effect is not blocked. We know it's not a magic attack, because you can use it without breaking invisbility. If you want to worry about touching the target, say you are using it with a rod of reach.

If so, consider all the other implications and tactics no one ever uses, and wonder if that's really the case. If not, then why would project image work?


From the ethereal jaunt spell: "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."

I read this as, An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal only have line of effect to the ethereal plane.

So unless you first ethereal jaunt, and then project image (which puts an illusion shadow on the ethereal plane, so still not very useful) you will lose your image when you jaunt.


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Tarantula wrote:
From the ethereal jaunt spell: "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."

Okay, so there's the other nail in the coffin of Ashiel's tactic.

For sale of argument, let's say you can maintain a projected image after ethereal jaunt. (I don't think you can, but fine). Now, what happens when you want to use it to attack the material plane?

According to project image "If you desire, any spell you cast whose range is touch or greater can originate from the projected image instead of from you. "

But it DOES NOT say the image casts the spell. YOU cast the spell, which originates at the image.

What does ethereal jaunt say about spells you cast? "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."

Emphasis mine.

So even if Ashiel is right and you can keep directing the image after an ethereal jaunt, when you cast spells and have them originate at the image, they still only effect ethereal targets. So the tactic of using a material project image to affect material creatures with spells you cast as ethereal is explicitly forbidden. No matter where those spells originate, if you cast them while ethereal, they affect only ethereal creatures.


Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

Okay, simple question. Can an ethereal spellcaster use cure light wounds on a subject in the material plane? According to Ashiel line of effect is not blocked. We know it's not a magic attack, because you can use it without breaking invisbility. If you want to worry about touching the target, say you are using it with a rod of reach.

If so, consider all the other implications and tactics no one ever uses, and wonder if that's really the case. If not, then why would project image work?

Line of effect isn't blocked. Try to touch them all you want. Whatever. You have line of effect. The cure light wounds spell, however, simply does nothing to them. You couldn't attempt to cast it on them at all, if there were no LoE.

Essentially, you can be on the ethereal plane (or vice versa) and spam spells or attacks back and forth all day long and hit nothing but air/aether, but you can still try. You still have Line of Effect, otherwise you wouldn't even be able to target them at all. Line of Effect is specifically only blocked by solid barriers.

As I explained in a previous post, in another thread, being ethereal makes you ignore a good 90% (estimate) of spells and effects, but it doesn't prevent Line of Effect. That's why you can blast an ethereal creature with magic missile or dispel magic. If being ethereal blocked line of effect, you couldn't even cast those spells on ethereal creatures; because while those spells are called out as being able to affect ethereal creatures, you would lack Line of Effect.

To avoid repeating myself, the following is from another thread:

Ashiel wrote:

An ethereal creature has line of effect to other creatures. If you have an ethereal creature on the battle-map with the rest of your characters, the characters and the ethereal creature can indeed have line of effect to one another. The thing is, even with that line of effect, there is another condition that specifically forces those effects to ignore anyone currently ethereal or material (as appropriate). It kind of reminds me of radio frequencies. Anyway, you have to have Line of Effect to cast spells at an ethereal creature at all. If being ethereal blocked line of effect, it wouldn't matter if a spell could affect the ethereal creature or not because you wouldn't have line of effect to cast it on the ethereal creature in the first place.

If you lack line of effect, you couldn't cast dispel magic on an ethereal creature, even though it can affect ethereal creatures as an abjuration spell. You have Line of Effect to ethereal creatures, however, and Dispel Magic happens to be one of the few spells that also functions on ethereal creatures. Again, this is not un-similar to the concept of shooting a red dragon with a scorching ray. The ray does not affect the dragon because of a condition (in this case immunity), but if the dragon was behind a wall of force, you wouldn't be able to target the dragon at all. It is the same for ethereal creatures. Many effects won't affect them because of a condition (they are ethereal) but you can still cast it at them in vain. If there was no Line of Effect, you couldn't cast it at all.

Once again, for for the audience!

PRD-Magic: Line of Effect wrote: wrote:

Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

Just for poops and giggles, since it says it's like Line of Sight for ranged weapons, let's look at that too!
PRD-Combat wrote:

Total Cover: If you don't have line of effect to your target (that is, you cannot draw any line from your square to your target's square without crossing a solid barrier), he is considered to have total cover from you. You can't make an attack against a target that has total cover.

Total Concealment: If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight, he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can't attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment).

Cover
To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target's square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).

Well look at that. You're not even allowed to make an attack against someone that you don't have Line of Effect to. Incidentally, Line of Effect is always blocked by a barrier. A "solid barrier". Line of Effect is clearly described in the game mechanics. It is not subject to different types of attacks. If you can magic missile an ethereal being then you can throw a scorching ray at it too! The difference is which one actually affects the being.


Ashiel wrote:
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

Okay, simple question. Can an ethereal spellcaster use cure light wounds on a subject in the material plane? According to Ashiel line of effect is not blocked. We know it's not a magic attack, because you can use it without breaking invisbility. If you want to worry about touching the target, say you are using it with a rod of reach.

If so, consider all the other implications and tactics no one ever uses, and wonder if that's really the case. If not, then why would project image work?

Line of effect isn't blocked. Try to touch them all you want. Whatever. You have line of effect. The cure light wounds spell, however, simply does nothing to them. You couldn't attempt to cast it on them at all, if there were no LoE.

Okay, I disagree, but okay. That doesn't cover this problem.

What does ethereal jaunt say about spells you cast? "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."
Emphasis mine.

So even if you are right and you can keep directing the image after an ethereal jaunt, when you cast spells and have them originate at the image, they still only effect ethereal targets. So the tactic of using a material project image to affect material creatures with spells you cast as ethereal is explicitly forbidden. No matter where those spells originate, if you cast them while ethereal, they affect only ethereal creatures.


Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Dungeon Grrrl wrote:

Okay, simple question. Can an ethereal spellcaster use cure light wounds on a subject in the material plane? According to Ashiel line of effect is not blocked. We know it's not a magic attack, because you can use it without breaking invisbility. If you want to worry about touching the target, say you are using it with a rod of reach.

If so, consider all the other implications and tactics no one ever uses, and wonder if that's really the case. If not, then why would project image work?

Line of effect isn't blocked. Try to touch them all you want. Whatever. You have line of effect. The cure light wounds spell, however, simply does nothing to them. You couldn't attempt to cast it on them at all, if there were no LoE.

Okay, I disagree, but okay. That doesn't cover this problem.

What does ethereal jaunt say about spells you cast? "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."
Emphasis mine.

So even if you are right and you can keep directing the image after an ethereal jaunt, when you cast spells and have them originate at the image, they still only effect ethereal targets. So the tactic of using a material project image to affect material creatures with spells you cast as ethereal is explicitly forbidden. No matter where those spells originate, if you cast them while ethereal, they affect only ethereal creatures.

Are you suggesting that a spell originating from a material source isn't?


Ashiel wrote:
Are you suggesting that a spell originating from a material source isn't?

Are suggesting that the wizard isn't under the effects of ethereal jaunt?

It says, explicitly, "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things." No matter where it originates, it can only effect other ethereal things.


Ashiel wrote:


Are you suggesting that a spell originating from a material source isn't?

I'm saying that the spell you are using is explicit in stating such spells only effect ethereal targets.

Your own theory of the spell is that the caster is transformed into an ethereal state, with the material and ethereal overlapping. Obviously your magic is similarly transformed, so no matter where it originates, it only affects ethereal targets.

Do you have anything at all that suggests otherwise? A single cite that even hints this is not the case?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Now in school, we learn to tell the differences between things. The "one of these things is not like the other" requires only elementary level of theoretical reasoning. Projected image is pretty clear in this regard. It says "If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends.", so we've got that.

{taps blackboard}

Very well then. let us examine what is said and not said in the description of project image, and what they have in common.

1) All the spells listed are conjuration (teleportation) spells.
Now if the reference to 'similar spells' is interpreted as 'other conjuration (teleportation) spells' then why did the description not specifically say so?

2) All the spells in question change the dimensional location of the subject. They do so either by changing your location in the familiar three dimensions, or by changing the plane, or dimension, or universe, that the subject is in. Now most spells that do this are conjuration spells, but not all of them. So perhaps a random sampling of 'put yourself somewhere else' spells would include no non-conjuration spells, but the 'or similar spells' includes them anyway? This encompasses a broader spectrum of spells that includes ethereal jaunt and shadow walk, which both place you in other close planes of existence, would be included.

What they include is the caveat: 'or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect' so from this we conclude that whatever type of spell is intended, the critical factor is breaking line of effect. We'll come back to this.

Ashiel wrote:
While ethereal, you still experience the "real world", though as an insubstantial ghost...

You can perceive things that are beyond your line of effect, however, such as through a pane of glass or wall of force. The fact that you do not fully experience the material plane shows that there is a barrier between you and it, like looking at the world through smoked glass. That fact that you CAN perceive the material world has no inference whatsoever upon line of effect.

Ashiel wrote:
Line of effect is not a condition as to whether or not something will be affected by a spell, but whether you can cast the spell there at all, or if the spell's effects will be blocked by an interposing barrier (such as a fireball being blocked by a wall). Line of effect is quite clear. In functions as line of sight for ranged weapons, except it doesn't require you to be able to see your target. It must be a solid barrier between you and your target.

Indeed, there are two ways a spell will not effect the target.

1) A property of the target defies the effect of the spell, such as a saving throw, spell resistance, energy resistance etc.

2) Failure to gain line of effect to a target by dint of not being in a position where you can direct the spell successfully to the target.

Looking at the second, we have a number of listed categories, mainly the interposition of a solid barrier. So what happens if a solid barrier stands between the caster and the target? The spell still triggers, but cannot cross the barrier. In the example of a fireball, it detonates upon impact with said barrier.

Put it this way: if your magical energy cannot cross the planar barrier to create a projected image, if you cannot cast a spell through the barrier to effect a material creature, how can the spell energy from a spell you wish to cast cross the barrier to be cast by the projected image?

Ashiel wrote:
There is in fact nothing stopping you from targeting a material creature with say scorching ray, but the rays will have no effect on them. Line of effect prevents you from casting spells into a space blocked by a solid barrier. You're not even allowed to try and target the something behind a 5ft. wall, for example, because there is a solid barrier blocking line of effect.

Line of effect is the cause of spell failure whenever the spell fails due to the relative position of the caster and the target, and any barriers between them.

You very clearly CAN try and target something beyond line of effect. If there is a plane of glass he does not see between a wizard and a horde of orcs, he can try and throw a fireball at them - it will just blow up in his face against the barrier. Likewise, he can try and charm a person whose reflection he sees in a mirror and does not realise it is a reflection - the spell will simply fail.

Ashiel wrote:
The spell is neither alike the other spells (all conjuration(teleportation) spells) nor does it prevent you from casting spells at material creatures and things (but it does prevent those effects from affecting them).

The spell IS like the other spells in that it changes your location relative to the effect you are maintaining, however. It places you in another universe where you can perceieve but not affect the material plane.

Ashiel wrote:
It does not, by the rules of Line of Effect (see magic chapter), break line of effect because it is not a "solid barrier" blocking the path.

You don't get much more solid than the planar boundary. Your spells cannot affect material things because the magic you create cannot cross that barrier. The things you target have as much reality to you as the virtual image in a mirror, which basically is down to line of effect.

If a charm person spell cannot cross the planar boundary to effect a material creature in another universe, how can your link to the projected image do so? Magical effects either cross the planar boundary, or they do not, there is no middle ground. As we have seen from many examples, spell effects do not cross the boundaries between planes unless they specifically state that they do so.

Ashiel wrote:
The ethereal plane is so closely tied with the material plane that you don't even need a traveling spell to become ethereal, you just transmute yourself into an ethereal creature. You can continue to interact (albeit in a more limited fashion) with material things and vice versa; a trait that is not shared by any other plane I can think of (not even the astral or shadow transitive planes).

Not really relevant, as it is well established that despite their closeness, the ethereal is still a separate universe and spells cast there do not affect the material plane except where specifically noted that they do.

Ashiel wrote:
So yeah. Transmutation and the Line of Effect rules say that you can.

That not an accurate statement; line of effect does not specifically say that you do not have line of effect from other universes, or specifically the ethereal plane, to the material one, something most people would assume as taken for granted. That is a very far cry from saying categorically that you do.

On the other hand, there are a lot of details that strongly imply otherwise, most importantly:

1) That spells cast on the ethereal plane have no effect on the material plane unless otherwise stated in the spell description. This implies that line of effect cannot exist across planar boundaries except in specific circumstances.

2) That several spells that change your position either in the plane you are in, or between planes, specifically DO break line of effect - that this is restricted to spells of the conjuration (teleportation) school is nowhere stated.

Together these imply very strongly that being on the ethereal DOES break line of effect to the material. Against that, all you have in argument at the end of the day is that there is nothing that specifically states that they do so.

I'm not saying the case against your position is cast iron, but it's a lot stronger than that which you are holding up, which is not so much evidence as a lack of any definitive statement either way - hence why this sits in the FAQ.

Edit: As stated in the other thread, the writers did not put in every combination of circumstances in the CRB, or it would be five times the size it is. Some things are left to the player's judgement, and of course the first thing is that someone comes up with a combination that isn't covered save by implication. Common sense (to me) says that being in another universe breaks line of effect, BUT I can understand why in the specific circumstance of the ethereal plane you disagree. I don't agree that you are correct in this, but I do understand the intuition that it may not in this specific circumstance. Let's see what the devs, and other commenters, say on the matter...


Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


Are you suggesting that a spell originating from a material source isn't?

I'm saying that the spell you are using is explicit in stating such spells only effect ethereal targets.

Your own theory of the spell is that the caster is transformed into an ethereal state, with the material and ethereal overlapping. Obviously your magic is similarly transformed, so no matter where it originates, it only affects ethereal targets.

Do you have anything at all that suggests otherwise? A single cite that even hints this is not the case?

Very interesting. You make a very good argument. I believe the best I can counter with is that it notes that you can have your spells originate from the projected image, but that the image can only cast spells on itself if they are illusion spells, which notes the spells as being cast by the image. The projected image spell notes that the spells you would cast may instead originate from the image and it notes the image as casting them. Given the definition of originate, your proxy mage is definitely the one treated as casting the spell.

Dictionary.com wrote:

o·rig·i·nate

   [uh-rij-uh-neyt] Show IPA verb, o·rig·i·nat·ed, o·rig·i·nat·ing.
verb (used without object)
1. to take its origin or rise; begin; start; arise: The practice originated during the Middle Ages.
2. (of a train, bus, or other public conveyance) to begin a scheduled run at a specified place: This train originates at Philadelphia.
verb (used with object)
3. to give origin or rise to; initiate; invent: to originate a better method.

Ergo, since the image isn't under the effects of the ethereal jaunt spell, and it is treated as the caster, the spell is not ethereal. Thus, if you cast a spell, you can instead have your image cast the spell, and the spell effect originates from the image as being cast, then the spell hits material stuff as normal.

I'm curious though, Dungeon Grrrl. Why do you seem so anxious to argue this point? Do you just like debating, or is there something that interests you about this subject beyond things like line Line of Sight and general mechanics?

EDIT:============================================================

Incidentally, this strategy isn't exactly super amazing. It's just the sort of underhanded trickery expected of the illusion school. There are also a wide variety of counters, including dispels, wall spells (pretty much any of them, including wall of stone or ice will work), turning ethereal yourself (ethereal armor has a +49,000 gp price tag and allows you to stay ethereal as long as you like for up to 1 shift / day; also other ethereal-making spells), and so forth. This tactic can be taken apart at the seems by as early as 5th level without consuming items, while the tactic requires a 13th level caster without consuming items.

Any of the following 4th level spells can be used to end this tactic with no save or dispel check. Minor creation (5 ft. wooden wall or tree blocks LoE); stone shape (can create a 10 ft. stone wall that blocks LoE, can be cast at 5th level by clerics and druids); resilient sphere (blocks LoE and the illusion gets no save); wall of ice (10 ft. radius hemisphere blocks all LoE).

5th level spells that can be used to end this tactic: wall of stone (breaks LoE like Wall of Ice); wall of force (blocks LoE); shadow evocation (mimics wall of ice, blocking LoS); fabricate (turns nearby mundane materials into a 10 ft. wall blocking LoE).

Other spells include antimagic field (placing the illusionary duplicate in the field); wall of iron; force cage; greater shadow conjuration (any wall spell); limited wish (mimics most other spells that breaks this tactic); and so on.

There's also insinuating a minion onto the ethereal plane as well. The mage can only see through his eyes or the proxy's eyes at any given time, which means that he will likely be fighting blind vs the ethereal plane. Drop a bound succubus on the plane and let her off the fool while he's standing their blind. A nice surprise vampiric touch or two, or a bit of life-leeching might be in order. :P


Ashiel wrote:
Very interesting. You make a very good argument. I believe the best I can counter with is that it notes that you can have your spells originate from the projected image, but that the image can only cast spells on itself if they are illusion spells, which notes the spells as being cast by the image. The projected image spell notes that the spells you would cast may instead originate from the image and it notes the image as casting them. Given the definition of originate, your proxy mage is definitely the one treated as casting the spell.

From Project Image, "If you desire, any spell you cast whose range is touch or greater can originate from the projected image instead of from you. The projected image can't cast any spells on itself except for illusion spells. The spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image."

Normally, for the case of an ethereal jaunting wizard being that they only affect ethereal targets. "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."


A bit off topic but...

Assuming we get a FAQ entry and it turns out you lose LoE for being ethereal, which would of course prevent people from even attempting to cast spells at ethereal creatures, and would also prevent characters from attempting to shoot/attack ethereal creatures they can see via see invisibility and similar; or merely that protect image cannot be used in this way, then I will admittedly be very sad as a GM and a player.

Not that my sadness or disappointment would have any affect on whether rules or not are correct. Nay, I say this as a gamer, rather than a debater. I would be sad that the illusion school would lose the option. Project image is not a very powerful spell. At higher levels, the illusion school is a joke. Tons of enemies either have easy access to anti-illusion effects, or even have continuous true seeing, and many senses that cannot be fooled by illusions. In essence, illusion is a school that is based around trickery and cunning rather than raw force; and yet it is literally impossible to trick and deceive many creatures with illusions.

Illusion has a handful of particularly nice illusion spells. Simulacrum (which everyone and their neighbor agrees is broken), and Project Image as we are discussing was one I considered good, because AFAIK it can be combined with select other spells to make the illusionist difficult to attack without removing the illusionist from combat. Project image is pretty weaksauce if this is the case, however, since there is basically nothing gained at all from it. Casting greater invisibility is pretty useless since by the time you get project image as a 7th level spell, invisibility is "meh". So what does one expect to do with a spell that requires you to maintain line of effect to it and direct it? You cannot even pull the old Wizard of Oz and hide behind a curtain or wall while using it.

Everything else in illusion either becomes quite useless past low levels, or everything is immune to via immunity to mind affecting and/or heavily resistant due to stuff like mind blank (effectively making most illusion spells treated like save or die, but with far less trouble if you fail). Necromancy and Enchantment suffer similar effects; but Necromancy at least has undead (which cannot simply be death warded away) and Enchantment has some great buffs. Most of illusions buffs simply don't work much at higher levels. I mean, what good is greater invisibility, mass or project image when you run into stuff like True Seeing, constant at CR 8 (erinyes)? Let alone the sheer amount of counters that are available to PC classes (see invisibility being a 2nd level spell on both divine and arcane lists, for example).

I just felt like chatting about the metagame a bit. This has little to do with the debate itself. Just commentary on the subject of the debate.


Tarantula wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Very interesting. You make a very good argument. I believe the best I can counter with is that it notes that you can have your spells originate from the projected image, but that the image can only cast spells on itself if they are illusion spells, which notes the spells as being cast by the image. The projected image spell notes that the spells you would cast may instead originate from the image and it notes the image as casting them. Given the definition of originate, your proxy mage is definitely the one treated as casting the spell.

From Project Image, "If you desire, any spell you cast whose range is touch or greater can originate from the projected image instead of from you. The projected image can't cast any spells on itself except for illusion spells. The spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image."

Normally, for the case of an ethereal jaunting wizard being that they only affect ethereal targets. "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."

Very good argument here. I would pose that the text indicates the fact that the image cannot cast spells on itself that aren't illusions; but is calling out that such spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image. Thus a projected image cannot cast enlarge person on itself, but there is nothing to stop it from casting enlarge person on someone else, affecting them normally.


Ashiel wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Very interesting. You make a very good argument. I believe the best I can counter with is that it notes that you can have your spells originate from the projected image, but that the image can only cast spells on itself if they are illusion spells, which notes the spells as being cast by the image. The projected image spell notes that the spells you would cast may instead originate from the image and it notes the image as casting them. Given the definition of originate, your proxy mage is definitely the one treated as casting the spell.

From Project Image, "If you desire, any spell you cast whose range is touch or greater can originate from the projected image instead of from you. The projected image can't cast any spells on itself except for illusion spells. The spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image."

Normally, for the case of an ethereal jaunting wizard being that they only affect ethereal targets. "An ethereal creature can't attack material creatures, and spells you cast while ethereal affect only other ethereal things."

Very good argument here. I would pose that the text indicates the fact that the image cannot cast spells on itself that aren't illusions; but is calling out that such spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image. Thus a projected image cannot cast enlarge person on itself, but there is nothing to stop it from casting enlarge person on someone else, affecting them normally.

Eh even if the image is also "casting" the spell the caster under ethereal jaunt is still casting the spell and thus all restrictions from ethereal jaunt on the spellcaster apply.


WWWW wrote:


Eh even if the image is also "casting" the spell the caster under ethereal jaunt is still casting the spell and thus all restrictions from ethereal jaunt on the spellcaster apply.

A spell originating from a non-ethereal source (the image) is not ethereal. You would cast the spell but you have the image cast it instead. The spell originates from the image, and the image is not ethereal, nor under the effects of the ethereal jaunt, and thus it does not qualify for "spells you cast only affect ethereal creatures". You need to be ethereal for that, and as projected image notes, it is the one that you use to determine whether the spell can hit them or not, as it is originating from the image (who again is not ethereal).

Example: You decide you want to cast spell X. You say you're casting spell X and having your image cast it instead. So you cast the spell, it does nothing. Your image then casts the spell, and the spell originates from the image. The image has now cast the spell. Since the spell that actually comes into effect is cast by the projected image, it therefor isn't subject to the inability to cast spells on material things, because the image is casting the spell and is not ethereal.

Incidentally, because it is a (shadow) spell, the image is partially real; lending further evidence that the projected image the one casting the spell that actually comes into effect, as the text says the shadow casts. So the spell originates from the shadow (non-ethereal) and is cast by the shadow (not subject to being ethereal) and thus is material. The argument that the spell in question becomes ethereal when the shadow casts it relies on the idea that the shadow isn't casting it but instead only being targeted from the shadow; which Projected Image proves is not the case; noting that the shadow casts spells in this case.

If the shadow casts, then it is not ethereal.


Ashiel wrote:
WWWW wrote:


Eh even if the image is also "casting" the spell the caster under ethereal jaunt is still casting the spell and thus all restrictions from ethereal jaunt on the spellcaster apply.

A spell originating from a non-ethereal source (the image) is not ethereal. You would cast the spell but you have the image cast it instead. The spell originates from the image, and the image is not ethereal, nor under the effects of the ethereal jaunt, and thus it does not qualify for "spells you cast only affect ethereal creatures". You need to be ethereal for that, and as projected image notes, it is the one that you use to determine whether the spell can hit them or not, as it is originating from the image (who again is not ethereal).

Example: You decide you want to cast spell X. You say you're casting spell X and having your image cast it instead. So you cast the spell, it does nothing. Your image then casts the spell, and the spell originates from the image. The image has now cast the spell. Since the spell that actually comes into effect is cast by the projected image, it therefor isn't subject to the inability to cast spells on material things, because the image is casting the spell and is not ethereal.

Incidentally, because it is a (shadow) spell, the image is partially real; lending further evidence that the projected image the one casting the spell that actually comes into effect, as the text says the shadow casts. So the spell originates from the shadow (non-ethereal) and is cast by the shadow (not subject to being ethereal) and thus is material. The argument that the spell in question becomes ethereal when the shadow casts it relies on the idea that the shadow isn't casting it but instead only being targeted from the shadow; which Projected Image proves is not the case; noting that the shadow casts spells in this case.

If the shadow casts, then it is not ethereal.

So your argument is that you are not actually casting the spell. The image that has no spell slots, caster level, etc. is casting the spell. That is what you are arguing correct.

In that case mind telling me where it says that the image can use your attributes to cast spells. Sure it says you can have a spell originate from the image but that is very specific in saying that it is a spell that you cast.


Ashiel wrote:
Very good argument here. I would pose that the text indicates the fact that the image cannot cast spells on itself that aren't illusions; but is calling out that such spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image. Thus a projected image cannot cast enlarge person on itself, but there is nothing to stop it from casting enlarge person on someone else, affecting them normally.

Yes. Now go one step further. While under the effect of ethereal jaunt, spells you cast cannot effect non-ethereal things. Therefore, while the projected image could affect itself with an illusion spell on itself, any other spell would not affect a non-ethereal creature.


Ashiel wrote:

Very interesting. You make a very good argument. I believe the best I can counter with is that it notes that you can have your spells originate from the projected image, but that the image can only cast spells on itself if they are illusion spells, which notes the spells as being cast by the image. The projected image spell notes that the spells you would cast may instead originate from the image and it notes the image as casting them. Given the definition of originate, your proxy mage is definitely the one treated as casting the spell.

Dictionary.com wrote:

o·rig·i·nate

   [uh-rij-uh-neyt] Show IPA verb, o·rig·i·nat·ed, o·rig·i·nat·ing.
verb (used without object)
1. to take its origin or rise; begin; start; arise: The practice originated during the Middle Ages.
2. (of a train, bus, or other public conveyance) to begin a scheduled run at a specified place: This train originates at Philadelphia.
verb (used with object)
3. to give origin or rise to; initiate; invent: to originate a better method.

Two things:

First, while it says the image can only cast certain spells on itself, that's AFTER it says you may have spells YOU cast originate at the image. That means the spells the image casts on itself are a sub-set of spells you cast. It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, to say the spell is being cast by both you and the image. However, that would still mean it is cast by you, and thus subject to the same restrictions as all spells you cast. That means if you are ethereal, you spells only effect ethereal targets.

Second, the first two two definitions you quote support this theory. If a spell starts or begins its run at your image, that has no impact on whether or not its is ethereal. Your theory on how ethereal juant work says you have been transformed into an ethereal state, but having ever "gone" anywhere like you would with a teleport. If this is the case, it doesn't matter where your spells begin, as they, too, are ethereal.

You use the fact the the rules carefully define line of effect and don't exclude your theory as support of its correctness. By the same measure ethereal jaunt carefully defines what happens to spells you cast, and project image carefully defines what you may do with spells you cast. Neither ever even suggests that one effect would change the other.

For example, if you were in a silence and couldn't cast a verbal spell, the fact your image can spake would not allow it to cast a spell you can't. It's only spells you cast you may have originate at the image. By your logic, if the image is also casting, if it was silenced and you werent, it couldnt cast the spell you cast. I wouldnt rule that way, but using your logic just means the spell is under the restriction of both castings, not that you get to ignore limitations you suffer and the image doesn't.

Ashiel wrote:
I'm curious though, Dungeon Grrrl. Why do you seem so anxious to argue this point? Do you just like debating, or is there something that interests you about this subject beyond things like line Line of Sight and general mechanics?

I do love talking about game mechanics. Why do you seem anxious to argue this point?

Ashiel wrote:

Incidentally, this strategy isn't exactly super amazing.

Agreed. Not relevant to if it's rules-legal, but agreed.

Ashiel wrote:
A spell originating from a non-ethereal source (the image) is not ethereal.

You have a rules-cite for that idea?

What we have here is a series of simple statements.
1. A spell cast by a spellcaster in ethereal jaunt is prohibited, by the rules, from affecting non-etheral creatures.
2. A spell cast by a spellcaster with a project image may originate at the porject image.
3. A project image can only cast illusions on itself.

You seem to believe 3 makes 1 untrue, but there's nothing about 3 that says that, or even suggests it.
I believe 1, 2, and 3 can all be true.

The law of parsimony (Occam's razor) urges us to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.

Your theory requires we accept the rule that no spell from a non-ethereal source can itself be ethereal.
Mine is that all facts are true as stated, with no additional assumptions required.


Dabbler wrote:
Lots of stuff...

If you are adamant about there being no line of effect...

How does a caster do a targeted dispel magic or any other targeted spell like magic missile if there is no line of effect?
You can't have both... true seeing does not grant you line of effect by your logic (you can see, but not LOE).
Being able to hurt an ethereal creature with magic missle does not grant you LOE to target said creature.

I like Dungeon Grrrl's reasoning/explanation a lot :-)

Now if that Ethereal Mage casts a Greater Shadow Evocation Interposing Hand, through his Projected Image... what happens?

- is it visible on the material plane and able to fool people?
- since it's not an "attack" would it work with 60% effect (being a shadow evocation)?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kyoni wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Lots of stuff...

If you are adamant about there being no line of effect...

How does a caster do a targeted dispel magic or any other targeted spell like magic missile if there is no line of effect?
You can't have both... true seeing does not grant you line of effect by your logic (you can see, but not LOE).
Being able to hurt an ethereal creature with magic missle does not grant you LOE to target said creature.

Interesting point, but magic missile does explicitly state that it CAN effect an ethereal creature, so you can get line of effect with a force spell. I will point out that like aiming a spell at a reflected image or illusion, or at a target behind a pane of glass or wall of force, you can aim a spell at something you do not actually have line of effect to. You just fail to hit your target.

On the other hand, if your target is completely concealed by, say, darkness from you, you may have line of effect to them but not be able to cast the spell at them.

It is confusing, that line of effect is not the same as line of sight, and what blocks one spell in one way may not block another spell in another way.

Kyoni wrote:
I like Dungeon Grrrl's reasoning/explanation a lot :-)

Me too.

@Ashiel
My whole objection to the tactic of casting project image followed by ethereal jaunt is academic: I think it's precluded by the rules as they stand as I would interpret them. I have no objection whatsoever as a tactic - is it much different from using fly and greater invisibility? Not particularly.


Dabbler wrote:
Interesting point, but magic missile does explicitly state that it CAN effect an ethereal creature, so you can get line of effect with a force spell. I will point out that like aiming a spell at a reflected image or illusion, or at a target behind a pane of glass or wall of force, you can aim a spell at something you do not actually have line of effect to. You just fail to hit your target.

I disagree...

The spell (Magic Missile) allows you to affect (=hurt) an ethereal creature, but it does not say anywhere that you suddenly gain LOE to it. LOE is imho identical with all spells. If one spell has it, all spells do.

Magic Missile only states that you can "hurt" an ethereal creature.

Definition wrote:
In general, to affect refers to the influence a change has on something else. In this sense, it is often confused with to effect, which generally means "to cause/make/create a change" . When used as a verb, "effect" refers to the cause of a change, or as a synonym for "created" or "made" ("The governor effected a change in policy"); while "affect" refers to the consequences of that change ("The new policy really affected our family").

In this case:

affect = being affected by magic missile = hurt
effect = casting magic missile is creating an effect = targeting (ie calling the spell into being)

Line of effect = line of targetting

Imho:

LOE is your means to detect the aura of your target in the "weave", it's not sight, but it is a means of acquiring your target to aim your spell. If you don't have LOE, you cannot target with spells. Hence why a solid barrier (even glass) blocks it.
Think of heat-seeking missiles. LOE would be the heat-seeking technology.

So before launching a Magic Missile you have to acquire your target. If you have LOE you are golden, if you don't it does not matter what spell you want to launch, you can't target.

The only reasoning I could see that would work for your argument is, that each spell uses a different form of detection, thus each spell having his own LOE... thus one spell would use heat-seeking another would use ...?

I have trouble wrapping my mind around multiple LOE, because it's not very logical, imho. It will turn many discussions about LOE into a nightmare: there wouldn't be a general rule any more and you'd have to write down exceptions for every single spell there is. I seriously hope Paizo never comes up with a Spell Compendium if that's the case... and I'll severly restrict my player's spell lists to something I can handle.
I, as a GM, have to be able to explain the why, because, as I'm in charge of the physics of my world.

You see magic as an arsenal of different guns.
I see magic as one (~heatseeking) gun with plenty different types of ammon.


Kyoni wrote:

I disagree...

The spell (Magic Missile) allows you to affect (=hurt) an ethereal creature, but it does not say anywhere that you suddenly gain LOE to it. LOE is imho identical with all spells. If one spell has it, all spells do.

Magic Missile only states that you can "hurt" an ethereal creature.

Definition wrote:
In general, to affect refers to the influence a change has on something else. In this sense, it is often confused with to effect, which generally means "to cause/make/create a change" . When used as a verb, "effect" refers to the cause of a change, or as a synonym for "created" or "made" ("The governor effected a change in policy"); while "affect" refers to the consequences of that change ("The new policy really affected our family").

In this case:

affect = being affected by magic missile = hurt
effect = casting magic missile is creating an effect = targeting (ie calling the spell into being)

Line of effect = line of targetting

Imho:

LOE is your means to detect the aura of your target in the "weave", it's not sight, but it is a means of acquiring your target to aim your spell. If you don't have LOE, you cannot target with spells. Hence why a solid barrier (even glass) blocks it.
Think of heat-seeking missiles. LOE would be the heat-seeking technology.

So before launching a Magic Missile you have to acquire your target. If you have LOE you are golden, if you don't it does not matter what spell you want to launch, you can't target.

The only reasoning I could see that would work for your argument is, that each spell uses a...

First, using dictionary definitions is not extremely helpful. A better solution is to quote the game definition of the term.

"Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

A burst, cone, cylinder, or emanation spell affects only an area, creature, or object to which it has line of effect from its origin (a spherical burst's center point, a cone-shaped burst's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation's point of origin).

An otherwise solid barrier with a hole of at least 1 square foot through it does not block a spell's line of effect. Such an opening means that the 5-foot length of wall containing the hole is no longer considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect."

From the GMG on ethereal plane:
"Normal Magic: Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane. The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings; these can cross from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells. While it's possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn't possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks."

Magic missile is a force effect. This gives it the exception to be able to target ethereal creatures even though that would normally disrupt LOE. To meet this exception, the spellcaster must be able to detect the ethereal creature in someway. Once that is done, the caster can freely magic missile the crap out of the ethereal creature.

In short, the text description of how magic effects the ethereal plane grants [force] spells and abjuration spells an exception to give them LOE to ethereal creatures if the spellcaster has a means to detect the creature. Barring those specific exceptions, no LOE exists between material and ethereal planes.


Tarantula wrote:
You must have a clear line of effect to any target that you cast a spell on or to any space in which you wish to create an effect. You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast.

ie targeting...

Tarantula wrote:
The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings; these can cross from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells.

ie need to find a way to gain LOE

I dared posting the definition because I felt many people missed this subtlety... maybe even the devs didn't do it on purpose? I don't know...
but since the devs used two different words, I thought there is a difference. I might be wrong.

To me the difference was always important because:

no LOE = no casting thus no spellslot lost

LOE, but not affected = casting happened, thus spellslot lost

Or to make it simple:

in your games: when a newbie spellcaster tries to cast a fireball at a target that is ethereal, does he use up that spell?


Fireball targets a point in space. So yes, the fireball explodes, and the ethereal creature is uneffected. Spell slot used.

If you say charm person... well, "Target or Targets: Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell."

So yes, spell slot wasted, but when they say they want to charm the ethereal person, GM tells them it is not a valid target, please select one or waste the slot.

(If they were really new, I would ask them to roll spellcraft before they cast and tell them their character knows that most spells don't effect ethereal creatures. If they made a DC5 then I'd say force effects do, and DC10 would be the abjuration.)


As far as LOE, you do not have it to ethereal creatures unless both 1) the spell is [force] or abjuration and 2) the spellcaster has a means to detect the ethereal creature. Once those are met, magically (pun intended) the caster now has LOE to an ethereal creature for that spell.


Dungeon Grrrl;

You make a compelling argument. I concede the thread to you. While I personally disagree that the spell would be subject to ethereality given the source from a material location, I have nothing that I can refute it with.

Good show. ^-^

Quote:
I do love talking about game mechanics. Why do you seem anxious to argue this point?

Same, here actually. I think it's the reason I keep getting drawn into these things. At least this thread has been more... *ponders* ... fruitful and classier ... than the usual trash I find myself caught up in. :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kyoni wrote:

To me the difference was always important because:

no LOE = no casting thus no spellslot lost

LOE, but not affected = casting happened, thus spellslot lost

Or to make it simple:

in your games: when a newbie spellcaster tries to cast a fireball at a target that is ethereal, does he use up that spell?

Unfortunately, you have based your premise on a fallacy. For example:

A pane of glass blocks line of effect. If I am unaware that it is present between me and my target and I cast a spell, nothing stops me casting, say, a fireball. The problem is that when I cast it, it strikes the pane of glass instead of the target and detonates there. I did not have line of effect, but the spell was still cast and the spell-slot lost.

The real problem here is the distinction between line of sight and line of effect. To cast a spell, I need line of sight to the target, or be able to locate it by some other means. You are trying to state that for spell-casting they are the same thing, when they are not.

To cast magic missile I need line of sight to the target, because I need to know exactly what I am loosing my spell at. If I think there is a foe behind a cloud of smoke, I can't loose a magic missile at that target because I cannot locate it (for all I know the person has ducked behind a solid barrier). I can toss a fireball in there, though, because fireball does not need to be aimed at anything specific, it just goes bang at a specified distance or if it hits something solid.

Similarly, if a target is behind a pane of glass, I can see it and target it with a spell, even though I do not have line of effect. The spell will fail, but I still have cast it.

So line of effect = are there any barriers that can block the effects of my spell between me and the target?

It has nothing to do with whether you can target and cast the spell or not. Spells do not come with their own special heat-seeking targeting systems, it is up to the caster to target them accurately.

Dark Archive

I know that this feat exists to be able to get LoE on etherial creatures:

Quote:

Ectoplasmic Spell (Metamagic)

Your spells breach the gulf between dimensions, sending ghostly emanations into the ether.

Benefit: An ectoplasmic spell has full effect against incorporeal or ethereal creatures. An ectoplasmic spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

Now, there is also this section about ethereal magic:

Quote:
Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane. The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings; these can cross from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells. While it's possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn't possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.

So, you cannot even use force magic to attack someone on the material plane from the ethereal plane (no LoE). I think that you would need a feat like Ectoplasmic Spell, or state that it works both ways for it to work.


Dabbler wrote:
A pane of glass blocks line of effect. If I am unaware that it is present between me and my target and I cast a spell, nothing stops me casting, say, a fireball. The problem is that when I cast it, it strikes the pane of glass instead of the target and detonates there. I did not have line of effect, but the spell was still cast and the spell-slot lost.

To be clear, the fireball doesn't travel toward the guy and explode at the window. Choosing the point of origin next to the target is invalid, and so you must select a valid point of origin which you do have line of effect to.

Dabbler wrote:
To cast magic missile I need line of sight to the target, because I need to know exactly what I am loosing my spell at. If I think there is a foe behind a cloud of smoke, I can't loose a magic missile at that target because I cannot locate it (for all I know the person has ducked behind a solid barrier). I can toss a fireball in there, though, because fireball does not need to be aimed at anything specific, it just goes bang at a specified distance or if it hits something solid.

Again, you must chose a valid point of origin for the fireball. If there is something solid in the way, you cannot chose that point of origin.

"You must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell you cast."
"Burst, Emanation, or Spread: Most spells that affect an area function as a burst, an emanation, or a spread. In each case, you select the spell's point of origin and measure its effect from that point."

Dabbler wrote:

Similarly, if a target is behind a pane of glass, I can see it and target it with a spell, even though I do not have line of effect. The spell will fail, but I still have cast it.

So line of effect = are there any barriers that can block the effects of my spell between me and the target?

It has nothing to do with whether you can target and cast the spell or not. Spells do not come with their own special heat-seeking targeting systems, it is up to the caster to target them accurately.

Again, no, you have cast the spell, and you cannot target the person across the glass with it. You can still choose to target someone else after realizing you cannot target the one across the glass. You don't automatically lose the spell. You simply cannot choose to target it outside of your LOE.

Dark Archive

Tarantula wrote:
To be clear, the fireball doesn't travel toward the guy and explode at the window. Choosing the point of origin next to the target is invalid, and so you must select a valid point of origin which you do have line of effect to.

It does travel to the target:

From the spell description:

Quote:
You point your finger and determine the range (distance and height) at which the fireball is to burst. A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, blossoms into the fireball at that point. An early impact results in an early detonation. If you attempt to send the bead through a narrow passage, such as through an arrow slit, you must “hit” the opening with a ranged touch attack, or else the bead strikes the barrier and detonates prematurely.

It even has rules for trying to launch one through an arrow slit and what happens if you miss the slit (it detonates on the wall next to the slit). So, you could fire it at someone behind a perfectly clear pane of glass and have it impact on the glass.


My bad, I was going off the base spread rules, not the specific fireball rules.

If you tried to charm person through a glass pane, it is not a valid target because there is no LOE, you cannot chose the target through the glass pane. You can chose a different target you do have LOE to, since you already have cast the spell.

Edit: Looking specifically at fireball, is "If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the fireball may continue beyond the barrier if the area permits; otherwise it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does."

So yes, you will hit the glass, break it (most likely) and then continue through to where you aimed your fireball.

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